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Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Nightmare Alley’ Wraps Production with Cooper, Blanchett, Mara, and More

Production halted in March but resumed in September on the upcoming psychological thriller.

Guillermo del Toro arrives at the 90th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon at The Beverly Hilton hotel on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Guillermo del Toro

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Production has wrapped on Guillermo del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley,” the upcoming psychological thriller film led by a starry ensemble including Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Rooney Mara, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, and Ron Perlman. While Disney-owned distributor Searchlight Pictures has yet to reveal a release date, the film’s co-screenwriter Kim Morgan (writing with Del Toro) revealed the end of the film’s production on Instagram Saturday. Independently, Guillermo del Toro confirmed that shooting was completed to IndieWire. (See Morgan’s post below.)

Production was suspended on March 13 due to the pandemic, but resumed safely in September. The film shot mainly in Toronto. Based on the novel by William Lindsay Gresham, the film centers on an ambitious young carny (Cooper) with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words. He hooks-up with a female psychiatrist (Blanchett) who, it turns out, is even more dangerous than he is. The film, which looks at the dark side of show business, was first adapted into a 1947 noir directed by Edmund Goulding, starring Tyrone Power alongside Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray, and Helen Walker.

The cast of the new version also includes Mary Steenburgen, Ron Perlman, and David Strathairn.

Del Toro spoke about the film’s production during an IndieWire Live conversation over the summer. “We stopped the shoot a week before [the industry shut down]. We reacted super fast, we proposed the studio to stop as opposed to being asked to stop,” del Toro said. “That saved us. Nobody to my knowledge in the cast or the crew got coronavirus. We were roughly 45 percent in. We were literally in the middle of a great scene. We went to lunch and talked to the studio and when we came back we said, ‘Everybody leave your tools and leave now.’”

When not filming “Nightmare Alley,” Guillermo del Toro has also been putting the finishing touches on his upcoming “Pinocchio.” Regarding film production overall, he said, “I don’t think we can go back to what we consider the old normal. Everything will be a little altered.”


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